SK Telecom strikes new LTE roaming deal, plans quad-band LTE devices

SK Telecom has expanded its LTE roaming program to include Globe Telecom of the Philippines. The South Korean operator previously initiated LTE roaming service with CSL in Hong Kong and SingTel in Singapore.

SK Telecom also intends to plans to launch quad-band LTE devices that work at 850 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz during the second quarter. "These devices carry a great meaning as they mark the first Korean LTE device that can operate in 2.6 GHz band, which is chosen by most mobile carriers across the world for LTE service. With these devices, customers will be able to enjoy LTE service in other countries just like they do in Korea," said the operator.

"Going forward, SK Telecom will expand its strategic partnerships with mobile carriers across the globe, while also focusing on enriching the line-up of devices that function in multiple frequency bands," said Kim Young-Sup, senior vice president and head of the operator's collaboration marketing office.

At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon Wireless CTO Nicola Palmer said the company will announce at least one international LTE roaming partner this year with more to follow. She said Verizon will implement LTE roaming in Canada and other countries. Verizon currently has 3G roaming relationships with more than 200 carriers worldwide, and Palmer said the company hopes to extend those relationships to LTE.

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has identified 1800 MHz as the prime band for LTE in the foreseeable future and a key enabler for international roaming. The second most popular band used in commercially launched LTE networks is Band 7 (2.6 GHz) followed by Band 20 (800 MHz) and then Band 4 (AWS).

The GSA also noted adoption of the APT700 MHz band plan by numerous nations across Asia Pacific and Latin America paves the way for global LTE spectrum harmonization.

For more:
- see this SK Telecom release

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